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Open Letter To U.S. Congressman Mr. Donald Payne Of New Jersey
Dear Congressman Mr. Payne,
I bring you greetings from the people and government of Somaliland and am honored to send you this letter.
First let me ask for your indulgence for addressing this letter to you without the ceremony of Protocol, but I believe it is permitted in the face of great democracy inevitability to trespass on the better etiquettes of Somaliland, and the subject of my letter does at least in my point of view.
Republic of Somaliland is located at Horn of Africa, and borders between Somalia in East, Ethiopia in South, Djibouti in West North and Gulf of Aden in the North. Somaliland got independence from Great Britain on 26th June 1960 (British Somaliland Protectorate), and 34 countries recognized it as an independent country. Four days later, on 1st July 1960, Somaliland joined with Italian Somalia (Today's Somalia) with democracy and freedom as Somaliland's only condition, and Formed Somali Republic on the same day of unity.
However, corruption and injustice spread like wild fire in Somalia, and killing the innocent people and dictatorship became normal. On 1963, Somalilanders started to regain their lost unity, but they failed because the government of Somalia in Mogadishu used military force against Somalilanders. The pressure on the people of Somaliland increased, and was considered as second class citizens. Again Somalilanders tried to revert on 1977 but the Military Ruler of Somalia General\ Mohamed Siyad Barre was very strong and killed all those organized the coup. US State Department named General Siyad (The Man killing his own people.).
On 1980, Somalilanders formed armed group with support of Ethiopian government, they fought to regain their lost freedom and it was on 12th May 1991 when the people of Somaliland removed the regime from their country, and announced independent and democratic government in Somaliland on 18th May 1991.
From that onwards, Somaliland is growing and developing, and democracy is taking roots unlike many African countries. Somalilanders established free press and judiciary. USA Government appreciated the democracy progress in Somaliland and even US State Department Assistant Undersecretary of African Affairs Dr. Frazier visited Somaliland in 2007. During her visit, Dr. Frazier met opposition parties and civil societies including NGOs.
The freely elected President of Somaliland Dahir Riyale visited Washington twice, and USAID sponsored projects to enhance the democracy in Somaliland.
Mr. Riyale invited the US Defense Department to establish African Command in Somaliland. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates welcomed the initiative and even advised the Bush Administration to recognize Somaliland in order to eliminate the Piracy and Al-Qaeda terror in the Horn of Africa. Mr. Congressman, as you know, Al-Qaeda is very active in Somalia and carries out Anti-USA armed operations in the region. It is very clear the terrorists planned to attack US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in Somalia, and even many Al-Qaeda Fugitives are hiding in Somalia.
Somaliland Navy fights pirates, and as you know the Somaliland water is free from piracy, and even US Forces in Djibouti cooperate with their Somaliland counterparts.
The people of Somaliland established democracy, freedom, liberty and justice by themselves without support from outside world. They established multiparty political system just like that in USA. They implemented Biometric Voting System, where citizen will vote by fingerprinting. This is to eliminate the duplicity and misuses.
These people in Somaliland establish strong modern government that has Police, Army Forces, Jails Authority, Courts, Cabinet, and every authority of today's modern governance. Somaliland is the first state in Horn of Africa that has freely elected President and Vice President in more than half century, along with peaceful power transition. Somalilanders elected Parliament with 80 members. Somaliland has currency (Somaliland Shilling), National anthem and Passport.
Somaliland government provides free education to more than 26,000 students, free health care. The government provides clean drinking water and electricity to all citizens with symbolic fees. The citizens of Somaliland got equal rights under the rule of justice. Somaliland government constructed more than 500 schools in less than 10 years.
There are three main political parties UDUB, Kulmiye and UCID. UDUB is ruling party and Kulmiye & UCID has majority in the parliament, and even the Speaker of the Parliament is from UCID. Somaliland stayed peaceful and developing in last 20 years, in other side Somalia was in Civil War.
The Ideal Solution to Somali Instability:
Obama Administration should recognize democratic and independent Republic of Somaliland. Obama Administration should support USAID Projects in Somaliland, in order to support the healthy democracy. The Washington Administration should be aware that Somaliland will be very much useful in fighting terrorism and piracy, in addition to restoring law and order in Mogadishu, Somalia. US Government should use Somaliland as major hub to crackdown the pirates at the Gulf of Aden.
Somaliland will share experience of establishing democracy with Somalia, by utilizing their common culture and language. It is culture of Somaliland to help the needy people in the region, because Somaliland is hosting thousands of refugees from Mogadishu, Somaliland. The current inter-fighting and instability in Somalia led these people to make shift to Somaliland, in order to get basic civil services like health and education. Somaliland authorities in coordination with UNHCR help them.
USA should examine the relation of Somaliland with its neighbors like Ethiopia. Today, Ethiopia – the landlocked country – is using Somaliland major ports like Berbera Port for export and import. Ethiopia opened diplomatic office in Hargeysa, Somaliland. The citizens of Somaliland travel to Ethiopia using Somaliland Passport, even though Ethiopia doesn’t recognize Somaliland diplomatically.
Undermining Somaliland sadly also undermines the goals of promoting poverty alleviation, peace, stability, and good governance in Africa. Failure to recognize Somaliland would be a great discredit to human rights and to democracy itself, and would destroy the hard-won stability that Somaliland enjoys today.
These below links may give you detailed information about Somaliland:
4. www.somalilandlaw.com (Full information about Somaliland Law System)